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March 18, 2014

Our Neighbors: ‘On air’ aspirations from a young age

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — His voice is as familiar as an old friend, and many have never met him.

Each morning, at 6 a.m.,  many start the day with the sound of this voice over the airwaves saying — “Good Morning, Kip Jervis here, with the Big Ol’ Bandit Morning Show.”

Jervis has been a disc jockey (DJ) since the early 80s. His college major was communications, but it was originally the music that drew him into the radio business. He grew up in a musical family and music has always been his passion.

He landed his first job at the now defunct WLPQ in the metropolis of Pittsburg, Ky.  “It was 980 on the AM dial, and it’s still a functioning station, just not under those call letters. Dr. John Begley, owned it at the time, but his full-time job was president of Lindsey Wilson College,” Jervis recalls.

He grew up in the 70s, during the birth of the FM age of radio, and he knew this was something he wanted to do.

“Prior to the FM age, at night you could get all these AM stations because the FCC allows them to boost their power signal at dusk. One in particular was WLS out of Chicago. The way John ‘Records’ Landecker wrapped his voice and personality around those jingles and song intros, jumped right out of my speakers and took me to a magical place. I’ve never forgotten that. I can listen to anything from old Happy Goodmans records to John Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme’ to the Allman Brothers Band to Merle Haggard. My musical palette is quite varied.”

In today’s market, radio personalities need more than their love for music to make a go in the business. Jervis believes and has said many times — to be good at this craft, or to get people to listen to you, you can’t take yourself too seriously.

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